59 scores brighten damp day
But 11-under-par won’t count as a record, as course is changed due to wet weather 59s in 2013
THERE were two amazing rounds of 59 – 11-under-par – during the second round of the weather-hit € 1 million Nelson Mandela Championship at Mt Edgecombe CC yesterday.
It was the first time that rounds of 59 have been recorded on the European Tour but if won’t go down as a record as there was placing because of the wet and soggy condition of the course.
There were broad smiles – and deservedly so – from Spain’s Jorge Campillo and South Africa’s Colin Nel for different reasons as this co-sanctioned Sunshine and European Tour event, cut down to 54holes, got underway in earnest.
For Campillo it took him from a level-par 70 in the first round to 11-under-par and into the joint second spot with England’s Matthew Baldwin, who signed for an eight-under in the second round to go with his three-under-par 67 – which was recorded over two days because of the rain delays.
The man leading after 28 holes is England’s Daniel Brooks, whose steady play in trying conditions saw him finish the back nine in threeunder-33, and who started with a birdie on the first before play was suspended for the day.
“It was a great day. We played other par 70s on tour, but you still have to shoot 59 and I’m pretty happy with the way I finished. I was 10-under after 14 holes and had two tough par-fours and a tough par-three coming in and I managed to par those holes and birdied No 8 so it was nice to finish good. I was nervous, but I managed to finish strong and I’m proud,” Campillo said.
“I was never close to 59 before, but in the KLM Open I was eight- under with three holes to go on a par 70. Finishing with three birdies would have put me on 59, but I fin- ished par, par, bogey. That helped me a lot today, because finishing good was important.”
Nel, frustrated with the long delays plus a poor first round of seven- over- par- 77 and seemingly heading for the exit door, turned in a magnificent performance to make the cut.
He pumped himself up for what was a make- or- break round as he asked playing partner and resident pro Michael Hollick what the course record was – and Hollick told him that he would have to “go deep” to survive the cut. And the pro who wears the colourful slacks did just that.
He had nine birdies and an eagle on his card – out in 29 and back in 30. That was an 18-shot swing for the 30-year-old Nel, who turned pro four years ago.
The beaming Maritzburg Golf Club pro, who admitted to being depressed as he was way down the Order of Merit, said: “It was an up and down day. First there was a delay, then I went back home to sleep for another two hours.
“When I came back I twitched my back and could hardly bend or even pick up my ball. I had some physio, after December: Jorge Campillo, Colin Nel, European Tour, Nelson Mandela Championship September: Jim Furyk, PGA Tour, BMW Championship July: Russell Knox, Web.com Tour, Albertsons Boise Open July: Will Wilcox, Web.com Tour, Utah Championship which I said to the guys I’m going out and we’ll see what happens.
“The physio helped as it kept my swing in a more compact manner and – I must not lie – the putter really got hot. I had only 22 putts, and that says it all.
“There were 11 on each nine. As a pro that’s what you dream of. I hit the ball good all day and my irons to the greens were also good. I was also a bit nervous coming down 16 and 17 – I made double at both holes the previous day.”
Another three South Africans delighted with their showing on the day were Oliver Bekker, who shot a 66; Branden Grace, who also signed for a four-under-par; and Dawie van der Walt was tied for third on 10-under for the tournament.
Jbe Kruger were grouped on seven-under and in joint eight place.
The cut line stands at oneunder par at the moment, and one of South Africa’s promising professionals, George Coetzee, is in danger of missing it.
He is one-over-par with five holes to play in his second round, which will resume at 6am today.
WELL BELOW PAR: Jorge Campilllo and Colin Nel both shot a 59 on the third day of the Nelson Mandela Championship at Mount Edgecombe Country Club yesterday. Despite the ‘record’ scores, their feat won’t enter the books due to course changes brought about by bad weather.